The publication of the Panama Papers in 2016, and then the Paradise Papers in 2017, revealed a huge amount of information about how the world’s ultrarich avoid tax and hide their wealth from regulators and public scrutiny. Now, an even bigger treasure trove of documents has been leaked to journalists. And as with the previous two leaks, amongst those implicated include some of the world’s most powerful political elites.
The US Congress just passed a bill to give Israel another whopping hand-out for military spending. And – as would be expected – it passed with a huge majority of both Republicans and Democrats. We shouldn’t be surprised. As The Canary has pointed out on numerous occasions, in the US there is essentially a bipartisan consensus for unconditional support for Israel.
Around the same time, the Labour Party in the UK showed that it still has some claim to be a supporter of Palestinian rights. In spite of its current (increasingly beleaguered) Blairite leadership, the party appears to still have a largely left-leaning membership as well as an active, albeit small, left faction amongst its MPs. And that shows just how isolated the US is on this issue when compared to one of its main European allies.
As The Canary extensively reported, throughout Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party, the corporate-owned press, Tories, and the Labour right alike targeted him with a vicious and protracted smear campaign. This campaign employed bogus accusations of antisemitism to try to derail his radical political project. This was one of the factors that led to Labour’s defeat in the 2019 UK general election, which in turn led to Corbyn’s resignation as party leader. But even now that he’s stepped down, the antisemitism smear campaign shows no signs of abating. Indeed, it has now morphed into a wider movement to attack the left more broadly. This includes, in particular, critics of Israel’s crimes against Palestinians.
The latest instalment in this sorry saga is a column in a right-wing US newspaper penned by a British comedian. It both represents a new low and highlights how the left will be the continual target of false accusations of antisemitism for the foreseeable future. We must continue to stand up to these pathetic and spurious attacks if we have any chance of rebuilding a movement for radical change.
On 11 September 2019, I wrote an article for a UK-based online publication called The Canary titled On the anniversary of 9/11, let’s remember that conspiracy theories are counterproductive. The article sparked an unexpectedly large amount of debate and, sadly, an even larger amount of abuse from followers of the so-called “9/11 Truth” movement.
In the two years since, I have learned more about both the attacks themselves and those who believe that they were some kind of “inside job.” For those of you reading who are expecting a full-blown recantation, I am afraid you will be disappointed. I still am not persuaded by the major pillars of the 9/11 Truth movement. But I am willing to offer some nuance as well as an appeal to those who still are.
US president Joe Biden recently announced that he will sign an executive order to facilitate the release of classified documents about the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The move is the result of a long-running campaign by victims’ families to determine whether the government of Saudi Arabia played a hand in the atrocities.
Throughout the 20 years since the attacks, it appears that successive US administrations and the US intelligence community alike have gone out of their way to suppress evidence that might implicate one of Washington’s staunchest allies. This refusal to release the documents speaks volumes about the US’s fawning treatment of one of the world’s last remaining absolute monarchies. It also raises big questions about the US’s flagrant double standards in the Middle East during its so-called ‘War on Terror’.
27 August 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of the assassination of one of the most prominent leaders of the Palestinian national liberation movement by Israeli military forces. In addition to remembering his life of struggle against oppression, this day should also stand as a reminder of Israel’s flagrant lawlessness in its global assassination campaign.
The US‘s withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan has gone alongside a stunning recapture of much of the country by the Taliban. This has naturally raised predictable whines from neoconservative elements who believe that withdrawal has “led to a Taliban triumph”.
However, not only is continuing the occupation of Afghanistan an abject exercise in futility, the US also has partly itself to blame for the rise of the radical Islamist group. A closer examination of history shows that this ascendency traces its roots to US interference in earlier decades.
In the month that has now passed since protests erupted across Cuba, much media commentary has focused on how President Biden would react. Earlier this year Biden’s press secretary had said that “a Cuba policy shift is not currently among President Biden’s top priorities.” However, the Biden administration is now clearly shifting policy, but not in the direction that Cubans in Cuba and US progressives had been hoping. On August 10, The New York Times published an article titled Biden Ramps Up Pressure on Cuba, Abandoning Obama’s Approach. The article states that, far from pivoting back to the Obama-era normalization process, “Mr. Biden is taking an even harder line on Cuba than his predecessor, President Donald J. Trump, who tightened restrictions on travel and financial transactions.”
Throughout this time corporate media accounts have been loyally parroting Washington’s line that the protesters were primarily motivated by the “authoritarianism” of the Cuban “regime.” As was the case in the run up the Iraq War, the purpose of these reports is to manufacture consent for Washington’s coercive foreign policy and obscure its self-serving and hypocritical agenda. As would be expected, these reports also ignore growing evidence suggesting that the protests were in part orchestrated by Washington as part of its ongoing plan destabilize the country and, in turn, bring about regime change. In a competitive field, one essay in particular stands out for its shamelessly tendentious propagandizing. Published at the online journal The Conversation, the article is condescendingly titled 5 ways Americans often misunderstand Cuba, from Fidel Castro’s rise to the Cuban American vote.
Prime minister Boris Johnson has come under fire for his comments about the decline of coal mining in the UK. On the surface, it might seem hypocritical for those on the left, and especially environmentalists, to mourn the shutting down of coal pits. But a more nuanced analysis shows that there is, in fact, no contradiction.
On July 29, an Associated Press (AP) article appeared online titled With turmoil at home, more Nicaraguans flee to the U.S. As is so often the case with media reports these days, the article starts off with a melodramatic anecdote that sets the tone and argumentative thrust for the rest of the piece. Emotionally manipulative rhetoric is, after all, more viscerally effective in pulling at the heart strings than facts and figures could ever hope to be. This particular article tells the tale of one Alan Reyes Picado. Picado, the AP tells us, is “one of the thousands of Nicaraguans the U.S. government has encountered at the border in recent months.” Evidently, the report’s author couldn’t even get past the first sentence without laying the blame squarely at the feet of the Sandinista government. The article says that Picado “fled Nicaragua by bus in the middle of the night, haunted by memories of government officials harassing him, throwing him in jail and then leaving him half naked in a dumpster.”